A retired UK professor believes that he may have solved a 1,400-year-old mystery surrounding the location of King Arthur’s legendary castle of Camelot.
According to Arthurian literature expert, Peter Field, Camelot used to stand at the site of an ancient Roman fort in Slack, near Huddersfield in West Yorkshire.
In Roman times, Slack was home to a fort called Camulodunum, which means “the fort of the god Camul”.
The Independent reports:
Prof. Field, who used to teach at Bangor University, said although he “loves doing this stuff” he had uncovered the location by luck.
He said: “It was quite by chance. I was looking at some maps, and suddenly all the ducks lined up.
“I believe I may have solved a 1,400-year-old mystery.”
The Romans called the fort at Slack “Camulodunum”, which means “the fort of the god Camul” and could be where the name Camelot comes from.
Prof. Field said Slack would have been an ideal location from which to command Celtic-speaking British troops battling the invasion of the Anglo-Saxons from the north and west in the time of King Arthur.
The fort’s location on the Roman road between Chester and York, both Celtic strategic strongholds, would also make it a prime location for defending the east coast, Prof. Field suggested.
He said: “If there was a real King Arthur, he will have lived around AD500, although the first mention of him in Camelot is in a French poem from the Champagne region of France from 1180.
“There is no mention of Camelot in the period between those dates, known as the Dark Ages, when the country was at war, and very little was recorded.
“In this gap, people passed on information, much got lost in transmission, and people may have made up facts or just messed up known information.”
The retired professor has been researching the possible site of the castle for the last 18 months.
The location of Camelot has been the subject of significant debate, with numerous people claiming to have discovered the true site of the fort and its famous round table.
Tintagel in Cornwall, Cadbury Castle in Somerset and Caerleon, Carmarthen and Cardigan have all been proposed as possible locations.
Earlier this year scientists uncovered a huge wall that is likely to have formed part of a Dark Ages palace in Tintagel – the rumoured birthplace of the famous King.
Whether King Arthur actually existed remains a matter of dispute. Some people suggest the legendary figure may be based on a number of real-life British rulers merged in to one while others say the legend is likely to be based on a real king.